Alhaji Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has criticized the high cost of rice in Nigeria by wholesalers and retailers, describing the hike as very unpatriotic.
This assertion came after the minister lauded the effort of local farmers in Nigeria.
He said that the farmers are yielding a large output and it will help actualise the government’s plan for the Agricultural sector, which includes food sufficiency and independence, job creation and economic growth.
The minister made this known during a working visit to rice farms and mills belonging to one of the leading rice manufacturers in Nigeria, Stallion Group Limited, the producers of Stallion rice in Kano State, and Popular Farms and Mill Limited.
Alhaji Sabo said:
”I see no reason why a 50kg bag of rice should be sold for N17,000, the same paddy rice is sold at N8,500 and maximum processing expense is N2,000 making a total of N10,500, it is unpatriotic to sell a bag more than N14,000 to N15000.”
Furthermore, Alhaji Sabo also claimed that the country’s border closure resulted in an immediate increase of output by rice milling plants in Nigeria.
He added that the boost also played a key role in reducing the high rate of unemployment in the country.
”With the improved production rate, Nigeria rice is bound to compete favourably in the global market the moment exportation begins.
”If we maintain this momentum in the next two years, we may export rice to other countries.
”The Ministry of Agriculture would soon convene a forum for all relevant stakeholders in the rice sub-sector to dialogue on how to improve on rice Seedlings, farm inputs among others.
”This meeting should take place in the next three to four weeks,” he said.
Lastly, Alhaji Sabo lauded the Stallion Group for their efforts towards improving rice production and creating jobs for Nigerians.
He persuaded other private investors to key into agribusiness as it begets many financial profits and returns.